Monday, February 25, 2008

My Resentment - Trying To Overcome

Al-Anon can't fix a trip but can help me reframe and vent. My alcoholic spouse hacks me off because she doesn't think or consider others. This past Saturday afternoon was tough for me. I was hacked off that my wife will be leaving for the lake/mountain to meet her buddies this coming Saturday.

One of my sales people quit this past Friday night. Adding another complexity to this week coming up. He had several appointments and presentations with clients lined up that I was supposed to go to. But because my wife "decided" just to go to the lake the week before, I had to rearrange my work plans to stay home.

My Wife's Trip To The Lake House/Mountains - Unconsulted, Unplanned (Another totally selfish act)
As you may recall, in an earlier blog post I mentioned this, she never consulted my schedule, she just scheduled it. I found out through my daughter that my alcoholic spouse/wife/roommate (that says it right there - roommate) that she decided to go to the lake/mountains with the same girls she would get drunk with.

When I confronted her, my wife, and said, "You just got out of rehab, don't you think this is premature??" She said, "I decided I am going, all my other friends are going." Then I found out ALL her OTHER friends were not going, that others had obligations (like who knows?? staying home because they are too old to party? and now have lives like taking care of their children and being with their families?). She said, also, "I need a vacation." I wanted to say, "YOU NEED A VACATION, from WHAT??? From coordinating the tutors I lined up? From unlocking the door for our house cleaner to come in (no they have a key)?"

Are you friggin' kidding me???

I am staying in this marriage because:
A.) The Luuve I receive? (that's "Love" said with sarcasm)
B.) The appreciation I get?
C.) The help my daughter gets for studying?
D.) The opportunity to pay my wife's bills? (no, not this one, I took her credit cards away that I paid for, and now make her pay her own things)
E.) The opportunity to be able to blog about her?

If you said "E" that is probably the closest answer to accurate or truth I can possibly find. I does provide some material to write up. (that's sarcasm again).

I should give a "F" option. "F" would be the opportunity to spend $130 per hour on a therapist and rant there about this problem. Oh yeah, right, I am reframing that too. I mean not a therapist, I coach, a mentor. A guide through life and help me find the door to float freely across the universe and be happy and sing merry songs of peace. I think I hear the birds of tranquility chirping now. No. Those are the black crows perched on my wife's shoulder making that noise. Again, to be read with sarcasm or facetious.

So, back to this lake get-away thing.

I have these appointments and presentations I need to realign. Not going to be easy. I MAY have to go to a place in the country that is not easy to get to and with the weather as it's been in the past 2 weeks, the delays may keep me from coming home on time so I can be there to meet my daughter coming off the bus or be there to tuck her in Thursday night.

I have to go test my resources, the friends in the neighborhood I have made as potential helpers, just in case I do have to go out of town, they can be there to take my daughter off the bus and maybe feed her.

So it's now 7AM where I am, and my wife will make the usual bread and put a huge amount of butter on the side of a plate for my daughter to eat for her morning breakfast. I have intervened and said "no more" we need to eat fruit, making me the "bad guy" to my daughter and a "control freak" to my wife. I will show you all later what my wife considers "fruit" by the way. She and I had this little argument about fruit roll-ups. She called them fruit.

One More Thing - Making This Problem an "Opportunity"
Oh yeah. One more thing. I am trying to make a "silk purse out of a sow's ear," (I really don't use that saying in real life) but this little excursion beach trip was unplanned, and I was not consulted about whether this fits into my schedule.

So, to make this problem an "opportunity," I have decided to take my daughter some place this weekend. It will not be easy, because I had a couple of personal meetings this weekend that I need to rearrange. But that is easy to change. We are planning to go some place warm - by plane. Maybe - well who knows? I am reframing this "issue" with my wife, who didn't ask about whether it was convenient for us or me or my work or my daughter or anyone else. I could use this as another opportunity to be close with my daughter and do a little bonding and just go have fun.

For those of you in Al-Anon or in a predicament like this (an alcoholic spouse) who do not have children, Al-Anon boundary setting, and detachment doesn't work like you or someone without children can understand. It really complicates things. "Let go and Let God" is not always the answer, however, I have learned that quotes like this are often misapplied. I am rambling here, but there is a point. If you are in a relationship with an alcoholic and you are thinking of having children, far be it from me to tell you what to do, for I have the most beautiful daughter in the world and I would give ANYTHING for her, but if you are thinking of having children, and that this might "fix" your spouse, you are really complicating your issue by 10 times (10X). Because it's no longer just about you. You can set boundaries and walk away. But with a child, if you are aware of what is happening, you start to see things occuring that affect them and you have to begin protecting this little innocent creature who is now subject to mental abuse, that is often, very subtle. [Did I just write that? Yes I did. "Mental abuse that is often very subtle." And those of you who have children and are married to an alcoholic know what I mean, don't you? I did write that. I am typing very slowly now, verrrry slowly. I think I just realized something that my brain is saying to me that I keep fighting.]

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Of all you shared here this morning, it was the "butter" vs. "fruit" that popped my thinking cap.

My life was nothing more than a dry piece of toast, covered up by layers and layers of butter.

The "fruits" of my labor are paying off, one day at a time, and I have a renewed spirit that seeks the taste of new fruits god promises me. I look forward to all the new vineyards, and gardens in my path of recovery.


Peace this Monday.

KevinB

tearlessnights said...

I SO agree! Do NOT bring kids into this crap.

I have four (you read right, FOUR) and I think the agony compounds exponentially... so it is like 400X harder! Although I am not as patient, nor as able to 'lovingly detach' while he is living in my home and I am trying to delude myself into thinking I have a "partner" in parenting at all. So I asked him to leave and now I KNOW whose shoulders it i all on... mine. But at least I can't lie to myself and the kids and him that we actually believe there are 2 of us trying to make this work.

I make sure we get fruit. I drive carpool. I work. I would let the housekeepers in, but I can't afford one, so the kids and I clean (or don't :o)
But at least I am free from expectations, which - as I mentioned above - I don't seem to be able to be when he is living here.

Your rant was GOOD... It is the insanity in our lives, right on the page... and I do NOT choose it any more. I can't. Then I end up bitter and angry and he ends up having a "weekend at the beach", overwhelmed from watching me hold everything together!!!

nanceelee said...

I have read your ongoing posts regarding your daughter and have great compassion for you, with the "tightrope" you must walk.

Obviously, it must be a HUGE fact that, if you did choose to leave, the courts could very well give much of the custody of your daughter to this woman. I can't imagine making the decision to leave while feeling powerless over custody and safety issues of a child, and the fight that would create.

As a dad (simply because residential custody usually stays with the mother), boundaries must be very very hard to contend with while worrying about a child's welfare.

Syd said...

Joe, I can read a lot of pain in your posts. Keep working the steps and doing what you can to take care of yourself and your daughter. She is innocent. Your wife has a program that will work with her. I hope that the Florida trip will be good for you and your child.

Joe said...

Everyone is right who commented. And I appreciate your kind - very kind words. This past Saturday was hard. This morning was hard. Because there is no food for the child. There is no fruit or any edible. My child is growing up in a house environment that she thinks is normal and that is my challenge and fear.

Kim said...

Joe,

Your daughter is lucky to have you. You are a great father! I always appreciate your honesty, and it always rings true for me. Thanks for being the source of support that you are for all of us.

kim

Anonymous said...

Joe,
It took me 6 yrs to leave my marriage, and I played out all the different scenerios in my head. I took the idea that my husband wasn't going to change, so I had a decision to make. I decided to accept my husband and his job, his behavior, exactly as it was and created a life for myself. I did what I needed to to create change for me, hoping he would go along but he didn't. I got better. Eventually I wrote down all my fears and then gave them to God. The day came when I could no longer live the way I was living. I was willing to live in an Apt if I had too. I knew there would be a fight over the kids and there was but it turned out to be better than I expected. I haven't had one regret since I left him. It takes what it takes folks, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly.
Sobergirl

Catherine said...

I can sooo relate to how angry you get and it really helps me to hear other people vent.

On the kids subject, I don't think I would be in the program if it weren't for my kids. Because they're so little, I simply can't give my alcoholic the boot, so I went looking for other solutions and found AlAnon. That just occurred to me while I was reading your posts. Hm.

Cyd said...

I want to comment on the children Yes they are innocent but i personally feel that the more we teach our kids about the disease the more than likely they do understand If they see us working our program There is Alanon Yes all those saying are hard to do and i hear and know the frustration you feel We are dealing with a person or person who are not mature emotionally. We have to say what we mean and mean what we say and say it expresses how we feel It is very hard but to point a finger to accuse all the things that dont help people with the disease I am not by know means sticking up for them but if we dont respond or say things on how we feel or not say they are faced with there own reality Alcholics love to engage us in there baggage If we listen to what they are saying They really are truly saying I am sick I am not worthy and i have to make you feel this way too. They cross over all boundaries but we have to learn to say no and say it with love Hard concept. So the gentlemen with the child Yes i do understand If you really sit down and talk with the person in recovery or alchol they do know they are hurting people They reconize it deeply and they beat themselves up more than we could ever. Are they selfish yes Think of a child where they havent developed emotionally They stay stuck Physiologically where they were out when they started addiction that is where they are stuck period. It wont take as long to get unstuck as it took to get stuck.One day at a time works As i am typing my addict is doing everything he can possibly do to push my buttons and i wont allow him too. Straighten up at 1100 that is his sickness I reconize he is just trying to be productive so he isnt bothering me. They do need you to love them unconditionally. He my friend pushes buttons only if he can. I go to therapy and Alanon. Need to Attend to keep my sanity I do agree children. Children do love them because at the same time they are loving in there own way they do love and they are still Gods children.